That's French for the sales. And the sales are very good here, fourth sister who came last weekend declared that it is better here than London. She got herself new shoes and a new handbag from Galeries. I bought a pair of leather gloves from Tara Jarmon and a belt from Galeries.
Last night it was really cold, so cold I could not sleep. It did not help that I was wearing a cotton nightgown- a thick version that I bought from Greenwich, London years and years ago and which I never wear in Singapore because my usual sleep attire is a tank top or something with straps because I can tolerate cold very well. Anyway, over here it is winter so it is really cold, plus our bedroom is not heated (technically it is the spare room, but we prefer it over the master bedroom because it has a neater layout and a working bathroom), both factors made sleeping in the room not much different from sleeping outside. Which drove me to seek more functional sleepware. So I set off for Samaritaine this morning, and boy was it more freezing in the streets? I don't know how low the temperature was, but right now it is about minus 1 deg C, so it must have been about 5 in the daytime. Everybody in the streets were bundled up and wearing a 'fxxx, it's so cold' look on their face. I didn't mind that much, it was a chance for me to wear the pleated fabric cap I bought in Seoul last year, and I had on warm gloves and scarves. But it was still cold, I walked nearly 4 hours outside today and did not break into any sweat or discard any layers that is how effing cold it was.
But back to my story- Samaritaine is closed! Has been closed since last summer due to security reasons. Luckily I had a backup plan. Just a short walk away is the Paris equivalent of Picaddily Circus i.e. Les Halles, and the underground shopping centre there houses a Muji outlet which was having sales of up to 70%. I got a bunchload of long sleeved tops, most of them in wool, some with angora and merino too. Good for me, also for husband, I got him a new sweater. Together with the hot water bottle, we should be fine tonight. If it is still intolerable, we'll have no choice but to get an electric heater. Good thing the sales end on February 17th.
Still, what has all this got to do with food right? Well, in my last post, I mentioned scoring some nice bargains in Staub cookware. Here it is. The oval cocotte, about 29 cm wide, or just a little wider than an oven toaster, was selling at BHV for EUD102 (normal price EUD 140. The grill pan cost me about EUD 42. BHV prices are generally better than Galeries and Printemps, but I didn't have time to check at Bon Marche. Staub is not really considered that big-deal here, in the stores it is displayed side by side with Le Creuset and the lid drip feature gives it just that extra edge over its competitor. At husband's favourite restaurant, the casual and dependable mussels frites Leon de Bruxelles, most of their mussel dishes come in a Staub cocotte. It keeps the mussels hot till the last mollusc. I used my new pot to make a lip-smacking sausage casserole, rich with fresh chicken stock and sweet winter vegetables.
Update: The grill pan works marvelously too. This is a piece of salmon which we grilled last night for dinner. It was nicely crusted (though we mishandled the skin which still turned out crispy) and moist inside. The fennel was roasted in the oven, but next time we will try cooking it on the grill/